I am at the International Society for Frontier Missions today and am listening to a presentation by Michael Rynkiewich about the changing nature of mission in light of diaspora communities.
He used the term “diaspora archipelago” in highlighting a particular island culture’s identification with the home island despite the fact that the people were living in the United States, not the home island (I don’t think it’s original with him, but I am sitting in the conference right now and can’t really research it).
I really like that language: diaspora archipelago. It conveys the idea that diaspora communities are small islands of culture reflecting the home culture wherever they are found.
One way of looking at diaspora ministry is to consider the urban center and all of the groups within it. This helps when one is “down in the weeds” of a particular location and trying to understand it.
The “diaspora archipelago” offers another way to look at diaspora peoples. It sees the connections between the communities regardless of location. It emphasizes the connections between the various communities and the relationship to the home culture.
Both ways of seeing diaspora peoples is important.